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Open Access Towards a phylogenetic reappraisal of Parmulariaceae and Asterinaceae (Dothideomycetes)

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Members of the Asterinaceae and Parmulariaceae are obligate biotrophic fungi with a pantropical distribution that grow in direct association with living plant tissues and produce external ascomata and bitunicate asci. These fungi are poorly known, with limited information about their taxonomic position in the Dothideomycetes. Much of what is known is conjectural and based on observation of morphological characters. An assessment of the phylogenetic position of the Asterinaceae and Parmulariaceae is provided based on a phylogenetic analysis of the nrDNA operon (ITS) and the large subunit rDNA (LSU) sequence data obtained from fresh material of selected species collected in Brazil. Three key species were included and epitypified, namely Asterina melastomatis, which is the type species for the type genus of the Asterinaceae; Prillieuxina baccharidincola (Asterinaceae); and Parmularia styracis, which is the type species for the type genus of the Parmulariaceae. An LSU rDNA phylogenetic analysis was performed indicating the correct phylogenetic placement of the Asterinales within the Dothideomycetes. From this initial analysis it is clear that the Parmulariaceae as currently circumscribed is polyphyletic, and that the Asterinaceae and Parmulariaceae are related, which justifies the maintenance of the order Asterinales. Asterotexis cucurbitacearum is recognised as distinct from other Dothideomycetes and placed in the newly proposed family and order (Asterotexiaceae, Asterotexiales), while the higher order phylogeny of Inocyclus angularis remains unresolved. Additionally, Lembosia abaxialis is introduced as a novel species and the phylogenetic placement of the genera Batistinula and Prillieuxina is clarified.

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Keywords: ASTERINALES; EPITYPE; NEOTROPICAL FUNGI; TAXONOMIC NOVELTIES; TYPE SPECIES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 23, 2015

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  • Persoonia aims to publish papers dealing with molecular phylogeny and evolution of fungi. A further aim is to promote fungal taxonomy by employing a polythetic approach to clarify the true phylogeny and relationships within the kingdom Fungi. The journal publishes high-quality papers elucidating known and novel fungal taxa at the DNA level, and also strives to present novel insights into evolutionary processes and relationships. Papers to be considered include research articles and reviews.

    Papers are published using a Fast Track system. This implies that the papers are immediately published online and freely available through the internet via this website. Volumes appear twice a year (June and December). From Volume 36 onwards (2016) hard copy volumes will only be made available through printing-on-demand. The issues can be ordered separately through the Publication Division of Naturalis Biodiversity Center; e-mail: [email protected]

    Persoonia is a journal published jointly by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute.
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